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Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

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The objective of SGMA is sustainable groundwater management in a manner that prevents significant and unreasonable impacts to groundwater basins in California. Under SGMA, each high and medium priority basin, as identified by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), is required to have a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) that will be responsible for groundwater management and development of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). EMWD Board of Directors is the GSA for the West San Jacinto Groundwater Basin and is responsible for development and implementation of a GSP.


Click here to view a Google Earth map of the GSA area

West San Jacinto Groundwater Sustainability Agency Area

Groundwater in California accounts for about 38 percent of the State’s drinking water supply, and more than 80 percent of residents are dependent on groundwater for at least a portion of their drinking water needs.

The San Jacinto Groundwater Basin is the source of groundwater production for EMWD and several other water purveyors. EMWD has been actively managing the Basin as part of a voluntary Assembly Bill 3030 effort passed in 1992. EMWD adopted the West San Jacinto Groundwater Basin Management Plan in 1995. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was passed into law in 2014 and required that medium and high priority groundwater basins designated by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) be managed by Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA). Subsequently, EMWD’s Board of Directors became the exclusive GSA for the western portion of the San Jacinto Groundwater Basin (West San Jacinto GSA) on April 24, 2017.

The San Jacinto Groundwater Basin is deemed a high priority basin (but not critically overdrafted) by DWR and the GSA is required to develop by 2022 and implement by 2042 a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). The GSP will document basin conditions and basin management will be based on measureable objectives and minimum thresholds defined to prevent significant and unreasonable impacts to the sustainability indicators defined in the GSP.

Hemet-San Jacinto Watermaster Management Area

The eastern portion of the Basin is adjudicated. In April 2013, a Stipulated Judgment, Case Number RIC 1207274, was entered with the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Riverside adopting the Management Plan and creating the Hemet-San Jacinto Watermaster (Watermaster). The Stipulated Judgment requires the preparation of an Annual Report by the Watermaster to document activities within the Management Area in a given year. The Watermaster has been submitting the Hemet-San Jacinto Annual Reports to DWR since 2015 to comply with SGMA requirements for adjudicated basins.

Click here to view Watermaster Documents


Historical groundwater use in California has been primarily unregulated and local agencies have practiced an informal manner of groundwater management within the basins. The unconstrained use of groundwater has led to widespread lowering of water tables, drying of domestic wells, land subsidence and corresponding damage to infrastructure, increased energy costs from pumping from greater depth, the reduction or elimination of baseflow to streams and rivers, diminished water quality, and the loss of groundwater dependent ecosystems. In 2014, after three years of severe drought and the persistence of undesirable impacts to groundwater basins in California, the legislature passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), creating a statewide framework for groundwater regulation in California. SGMA requires that groundwater basins be managed to ensure long-term water supply sustainability and prevent undesirable results.

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is composed of a three-bill legislative package including Assembly Bill 1739 (Dickinson), Senate Bill 1168 (Pavley), and Senate Bill 1319 (Pavley).

Additional Resources

Best Management Practices and Guidance Documents

Public Notices

Public notices let you know when public review periods are scheduled for EMWD actions, declarations or other items.


Comments on a public notice or requests for more information may be sent via e-mail or in writing to the address noted on each item. Email or written comments must be received by the scheduled comment end date. Email or written comments received will be forwarded to the EMWD Board of Directors and will be considered before an action is taken on the item.

Public Meetings

Public meetings of the EMWD Board of Directors in order to take action on the posted items are held in the EMWD Board Room located at 2270 Trumble Road in Perris, California.

Notices of Public Hearing: Formation of West San Jacinto GSA

2016 Basin Boundary Modification Initial Notification

2018 Basin Boundary Modification Initial Notification

GSP Development Initial Notification

Meeting Schedule

Meeting Date Topic(s) of Discussion
June 26, 2019  SGMA Background and Groundwater Sustainability Plan Development
September 23, 2019 Historical and Current Conditions
January 13, 2020 Hydrogeologic Conceptual Model and Future Water Budget
April 13, 2020 Sustainability Criteria (1)
July 13, 2020 Projects and Management Actions
October 5, 2020 Sustainability Criteria (2)
February 22, 2021 Public Draft GSP
July 7, 2021 Comments Received, Revisions, Final GSP, and Next Steps

Program Documents

This section will house links to relevant project documents.

Resolution 2016-034: Initiating A Basin Boundary Modification Request_San Jacinto Groundwater Basin 2016

Resolution 2016-135: Formation of the West San Jacinto Groundwater GSA

Resolution 2018-082: Initiating A Basin Boundary Modification Request For The San Jacinto Basin

Board Letter: Formation of the West San Jacinto Groundwater Sustainability Agency

Board Letter: Approve & Authorize West San Jacinto & Southwest San Timoteo Groundwater Basins Boundary Modifications

SGMA 2019 Basin Prioritization

Stay Informed

By subscribing to EMWD’s mailing list, you will receive news and updates about the Groundwater Sustainability Agency Process and any upcoming stakeholder forums.

Subscribe to EWMD eNotifications. Select Calendar and/or News options for Sustainable Groundwater Management Act to stay informed.